It’s Arbor Day: Let’s Plant a Tree!

by Krista Davis on April 27, 2012

It’s Arbor Day, April 27, the day to recognize the trees around us and their benefits. Trees provide oxygen for humans and animals, are a habitat for animals to live in, provide shade from the sun, reducing our energy bills if located correctly around our homes, and can provide fruit for us to eat. Why wouldn’t we want to celebrate Arbor Day by making sure more trees are available for the world to enjoy?

With the rising cost of electricity Arbor Day would be a good day to plant shade trees for your yard. However, not all trees make good shade trees. When choosing a tree make sure the tree you are considering does not have an invasive root system, especially if you will be planting it near your house foundation, concrete patio, or septic system. Also, be sure the tree is not overly messy, dropping seed pods, twigs, or nuts each year. This can add a lot of work for your family and create potential damage to your home.  Finally, find out how high the tree will be when it matures. Trees that are higher than the house could be potentially hazardous during droughts or storms. As a reference medium or large sized trees should be planted at least 30 to 50 feet from the house, while small flowering trees and fruit trees can be planted at least 8 feet from your home and are wonderful additions below electric lines, since they won’t interfere with the wires. ArborDay.org recommends a 25 foot maximum mature height and 20 foot spread when planting near power lines. Trees you might consider are eastern redbud, dogwood, and Japanese maple.

If you don’t own your own land, try celebrating Arbor Day by planting a fruit tree in a portable container. Since my husband and I travel in an RV we decided to grow orange, lemon, and plum trees in portable pots. This allowed us to save money on the cost of produce and bring our love of trees wherever we go. Since we wanted the trees to be sturdy and producing, but not too large to transport, we purchased young trees around 3 or 4 years old that had plenty of blooms. Make sure your containers are light weight but have a wide enough diameter for root growth.

No matter your choice of tree, you are sure to enjoy their beauty and benefit from their presence. Happy Arbor Day!

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Written by Krista Davis

Krista Davis

Krista is a self-proclaimed “health nut” and eco-friendly enthusiast.

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